We've often had discussions about how out of touch with reality the team's front office is when it comes to things like trade discussions and contract talks, but this is the first time they've overshot the landing on any one particular issue this badly. Ninety wins is by far the largest total we've seen today, and is actually a full 16 game better than Vegas predicts. For what its worth, Vegas is usually pretty close.
When asked for comment about the report, Alderson told Harper:
“All I’ll say is we have higher expectations than we’ve had in the past, because I think it
has to be a mind-set. Part of creating a winning environment is setting ambitious goals
and working toward them. But it has to be systematic and it can’t be totally unrealistic.
I don’t think it is in this case.”
This is quite a departure from seasons past when the team handed out "Underdog" shirts and discussed getting the most out of its roster. Ninety wins would put the Mets in the thick of the wild card discussion and would bring meaningful baseball to Citi Field for the first time in five years. Goals are great, but realistic ones are better. It will be interesting to see how firmly Alderson holds to this statement, because it could take the luster off whatever progress is made in 2014 if the team comes up short.
So uh, yea. I've had quite a few discussions with what I consider to be knowledgeable fans who do consider the team to be better than years past. However, even the most optimistic of the group sees a .500 record as the ceiling for this particular collection of Mets. Alderson always has a motive. I suspect this statement wasn't made so the team would make headlines. He wants the team to know that more is expected of them this season and that he believes they can be playoff contenders. I just think he's one of only a few who think that. This Mets team has more potential than in years past. The players have more talent, but questions still remain. I personally only see the Mets as likely to put up an additional four or five since this season. Reallocating the money that came off the books hasn't resulted in a vastly changed landscape. These are basically the same Mets we saw last year, so its fair to say 90 wins seems like a bit of a reach.